Dar es Salaam. Suspicions surround the death of a Tanzanian lecturer in South Africa, and the police are still investigating the issue.
Baraka Leonard Nafari was an employee of the St Augustine University of Tanzania (Saut) who was pursuing PhD studies at the University of Johannesburg (UJ). Then he was reported killed on Friday, February 23.
The report of his death was confirmed yesterday by his cousin, Mr Uwezo Edward, when he was contacted by The Citizen over telephone. Mr Edward lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
According to him, the University CCTV footage shows Nafari and a fellow UJ student running for their lives as two unidentified men in a taxi pursued them.
The taxi then seems to have deliberately hit Nafari, throwing him against the fence of the University of Johannesburg’s Sophiatown residence in Auckland Park, killing him instantly.
“Despite the obvious, the driver of the taxi was arrested for driving without a licence – and was just as soon released on police bail. The other person in the taxi was released without charge,” the deceased’s cousin, Edward, stated.
He also revealed that UJ students and Nafari’s relatives will pay their last respects to him at a special event scheduled to take place at the University on Tuesday next week.
“We will thereafter fly with the body to Dar es Salaam on Thursday, March 8, arriving at the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam where we expect to be received by other relatives. Therefrom, we’ll fly to Kigoma Region for the burial ceremony,” Edward narrated.
For his part, Saut vice chancellor Thadeus Mkamwa said he was shocked and saddened by the death of his employee. In the event, he called upon the relevant Jo’burg University officials and the South African police to thoroughly investigate the issue and take measures as appropriate.
“I was informed about Nafari’s death on Wednesday by his (course) supervisor who lives in South Africa. However, as we are speaking now, I have not received an official letter from the University informing us of the matter,” he said.
“Until now, I have no idea whether he was murdered or not. But I am very shocked by the reports that are being circulated on social media outlets suggesting that he was murdered.”
Reached for comments over the telephone yesterday, the Tanzania minister for Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, said his office was not aware of the murder reports. However, he said he would contact the ministry’s officials with a view to pursuing the reports and provide as much information as possible to the general public.
Prior to his death Nafari had earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics at St Augustine University of Tanzania, and a Diploma in Accountancy at the College of Business Education Dar es Salaam.